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Duke University


Preface:

Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina. While certainly more popular for its management and medical courses, Duke is quite a handful even when it comes to engineering, and certainly ranks amongst the top 50 for all the fields if offers. That, if you’re wondering, is pretty good.

 

Location:

Readers should know that when we say Durham, it’s not to be mistaken for the Durham in England, of course. Although it’s one of the bigger cities in North Carolina, it’s quite dull, really, and there isn’t too much to look forward to even around Durham. Raleigh is about half an hour away, but the nearest ‘big’ city would be Washington DC, and that’s a good 5-6 hours away. Oh dear.

 

Infrastructure and Residing options:

If the size of the campus (8000 acres) isn’t enough to make your mouth water, then the splendid Gothic architecture certainly will be. Within the campus lies the beautiful Duke Forest; no, it isn’t a ‘jungle’ – wild animals won’t appear out of nowhere and skin you to death – it’s a private research forest, which is a really cool thing. To call the buildings, well, ‘buildings’, would be doing a disservice to architecture, since these are definitely palaces. But as antique (in a good way) they might look from the outside, you’ll be surprised, and pretty pleased, to know that they are absolutely state-of-the-art from the inside. Fantastic laboratories, athletic facilities and lecture halls and complemented by the massive library system, which has over 6 million volumes in all!

Now, while living off-campus is definitely an option, most students tend to live on campus itself, though there definitely isn’t a dearth of apartments outside Duke. For those who don’t like the idea of living within the college boundaries, The Belmont, West Village and Erwin Mill are very viable and pretty cheap options, provided you find yourself a roommate or two, of course.

 

Weather:

If you like the Mediterranean climate, Durham is certainly not the place for you. Hot and humid summers are awfully complemented by cold, snowy (by Indian standards, at least) winters. The couple of months of rain will leave you wishing for a drought next year, but that won’t happen anyway. All in all, it’s not too great, but students say that it’s worth the pain, because Durham looks absolutely breathtaking when Mother Nature chooses to be nice.

 

Courses Offered:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering and Material Science

 

Faculty and Pedagogy:

Although Duke has earned its reputation primarily due to its medical programs, the Pratt School of Engineering (that’s where you engineers will land up) isn’t lagging too far behind. Professors are highly knowledgeable, and are always willing to help students, provided the initiative comes from the correct side. And if you’re a biomedical student, getting into Duke is akin to striking gold, since you’ll be getting access to the medical school’s facilities, and being taught a number of courses by their professors.

 

Tuition Fees:

Duke charges a tuition fee of about $18,500 per semester which, yes, is quite a bit.

 

Financial Aid:

Being a private university, Duke isn’t what you would call ‘generous’ with its scholarships, but if you have acads to back your need, you could get lucky.

 

Eventual Placements:

Although in today’s times, no one is ever guaranteed an excellent job, you can certainly get an edge over the others if you quickly get in touch with the Career Center at Duke. Building up your resume and keeping your academic levels high really go a long way in ensuring you get a top job. Companies like Accenture and Google do hire from Duke, but you need to be that good.

 

Crowd and Campus Life:

Now, the scene at Duke is pretty much similar to what you see in India. Hardly any women do engineering, and even the ones who do aren’t exactly hot, to say the least. However, just like in India, the best girls take up medicine, and that’s exactly why you shouldn’t limit yourself to the School of Engineering. Roam around, get to know more people, and make sure you find some eye candy in the MedSchool. It’s not hard, really.

When it comes to life at Duke, it’s not nearly as high-paced as say, New York City, but it’s pretty good anyway. Most parties are organized on campus itself (just look at it, it’s massive!), and it doesn’t take much to get an invitation. And then you have plenty of bars outside of Duke as well.

 

Famous Alumni:

  • Richard Nixon - Former President of the United States
  • Steven Black - Vice Chairman of J.P.Morgan Chase &Co.
  • Melinda Gates - World famous philanthrophist

 

Verdict:

Excellent college for Biomed students, and not at all a bad option even for others.

 

Website:

www.duke.edu

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